Life can be complicated. We do our best to keep things simple.
Raising a child is a daunting task filled with stress, uncertainty and concern. But it's also one of the most joyous, magical and important jobs of all. We meet parents all the time who are concerned about their child's speech and language development. Often, their son or daughter is right on track and nothing needs to be done. Other times, they need a little help. We want what's best for your child. To determine this, we use a simple 3-Step Method.
One-on-one speech and language therapy. We have been told we're proven experts in the following areas:
LATE TALKERS - A Late Talker is a toddler generally between 18-30 months who may have a good understanding of language, normal play skills, motor skills, thinking skills, and social skills, but has limited verbalizations for his or her age. The reality is, all children develop at different rates. However, some children need a jumpstart. Further, some Late Talkers may also be at risk for some delays/disorders listed below. The good news is, Late Talkers are very treatable - case in point, Einstein was a Late Talker. Research indicates that with early intervention services, Late Talkers achieve similar scores on kindergarten testing as non-Late Talkers.
RECEPTIVE / EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE - Receptive (what your child understands) and Expressive (what your child says or writes) Language delays/disorders occur when a child doesn’t understand and/or produce language at the expected age levels. Children develop receptive language skills first. A Receptive Language delay/disorder is the difficulty in understanding words and/or gestures. An Expressive Language delay/disorder is simply how a child expresses her wants, needs or ideas. Examples:
Receptive: A child doesn't understand that the boy did the throwing when he hears “the boy threw the ball” .
Expressive: A child struggles with telling their mother that she wants to eat.
ARTICULATION / PHONOLOGICAL PROCESSES - Articulation (how a child produces sounds) and Phonological Process disorder (pattern of errors that affect multiple sounds) relate to speech production and are very similar and often grouped together, although there is a key difference between them. An Articulation disorder is when a child has difficulty saying particular consonants or vowels. A Phonological Process disorder involves patterns of sound errors, such as substituting all sounds made in the back of the mouth like "k" and "g" for those in the front of the mouth like "t" and "d". Examples:
Articulation: A child says “baf” instead of “bath” or “sirt” instead of “shirt”.
Phonological Processes: A child says "tup" instead of "cup" or "wed" for "red".
AUDITORY PROCESSING - Auditory Processing Disorder occurs when a child with normal hearing doesn’t recognize differences between sounds and words, especially in the presence of background noise or listening to degraded speech. The child doesn’t understand an actual sound but often understands the meaning of a word, adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of information, following directions and overall learning. Example:
A child hears “The chair and couch are alike.” but processes it as “The hair and cow are alike.”
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER - Autism Spectrum Disorder is a grouping of several developmental disorders, including a wide range of symptoms, skills and levels of strengths and weaknesses. Typically recognized before age 3, a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may have difficulty functioning socially, maintaining eye contact, and developing receptive and expressive language. Examples include:
A child has difficulty communicating and interacting with others, exhibits repetitive behaviors, or has limited interests or activities.
APRAXIA OF SPEECH - Apraxia of Speech is a motor disorder when the brain fails to plan and coordinate movements of articulators (mouth, lips, jaws, toungue) for specific actions. Or put another way, the signal from the brain is changed or broken on its way to the mouth, making word production and voluntary speech difficult. Key characteristics include vowel distortions, putting stress on the wrong syllable in words, using a monotone voice, difficulty imitating words, difficulty transitioning from one sound or syllable to another and the inability to say the same word the same way two times in a row.
TEACHER / PARENT EDUCATION - While we take heaps of pride in our therapy abilities, the best results happen when parents are involved on a daily basis and reinforce past lessons. Our therapists will provide you with simple and fun exercises to do with your child at home, driving in the car or strolling through the park. Similarly, we'll update teachers, when necessary, to reinforce progress made during therapy and provide signs to look out for if noticed in the classroom. Keep in mind that we'll do the heavy lifting, but parents and teachers should play a key role in overcoming any obstacles and creating your own chatterbox.